Submitted: August 2019
Summary: When you’re expecting a child, sometimes the people around you get just as excited as you are.
Story Size: 2,041 words (12Kb as text)
Disclaimer: I own nothing. I make nothing. All Lois and Clark characters, plot points, and recognizable dialogue belong to DC Comics, Warner Bros., December 3rd Productions and anyone else with a stake in the Superman franchise.
Author’s Note: This story is in response to the Five Word Summer Challenge posted on the Lois and Clark FanFic Message Boards. The only requirement was that the following five words appear in the story: Lemonade, Pink, Pool, Float, Cape.
“Here you go, hon. One root beer float,” Clark lovingly said as he approached his wife’s desk from behind. He snaked his arms around her and placed a clear plastic disposable cup into her left hand.
She smiled and hummed a happy sound as she twisted in her seat to face him. She gave him a quick kiss on his cheek for the drink. “Thanks.”
“I had to cross several state lines to find a place serving them at this early hour,” he whispered with a smile into her ear, his words inciting a shiver that ran tantalizingly up her spine.
She smiled a private smile to him as she closed in on his lips. “I guess thanks are in order tonight then,” she teased, making him groan slightly with longing.
But the work day was just beginning. They still had a mountain of work to get through before they would be free to head home. Reluctantly, he ended their kiss almost as soon as it began. “I guess we better get started for the day,” he remarked, pulling away to sit on the edge of her desk.
Lois nodded. Then she noticed the other drink he held. “What’s that?” she asked, wrinkling her nose.
Clark shrugged. “Some kind of new energy drink. It’s supposed to be the equivalent of something like three cups of coffee, caffeine-wise. But it’s lemonade flavored, or supposed to be.”
“How is it?” she asked, peering at it with interest ever since he’d said how much caffeine was involved.
“Not sure. I haven’t tasted it yet,” he admitted with a smile.
Lois laughed and used her cup to gesture at his. “Go on then, try it,” she invited him. She took a sip from the wide red straw in her cup and blissfully shut her eyes. “Oh, so, so good,” she practically purred.
Clark chuckled a bit as Lois mumbled a “thanks” around her straw, then he took a sip of the yellow liquid in his cup. As the first taste of it hit his tongue, he reflexively sputtered, choked, grabbed a tissue from the box on Lois’ desk, and spat out what little hadn’t gone down his poor, unsuspecting throat.
“Gah! That’s awful,” he declared, grabbing his wife’s drink and taking one, albeit fairly large, gulp to wash down the horrible aftertaste lingering on his abused taste buds. He hoped, given his state of distress, she wouldn’t kill him over the stolen sip. “It tastes like feet!”
Lois’ eyes sparkled with laughter. “Been going around nibbling on toes, have you?” she teased.
Clark was about to come back with a witty retort when Jimmy approached. Clark swallowed down his reply and stifled his laughter. He tried, but knew he was failing, to put on a more serious, more work appropriate expression. Jimmy nodded in greeting as he got close to the desk.
“Morning, guys,” the younger man said with a grin, but suspiciously eyeballing them.
“Hey, Jimmy,” they both replied, nearly with one voice.
“I…uh…got those pictures back from the bank robbery yesterday,” he said, handing over a slim stack of glossy prints, his expression still wondering what had them in such a giggly state.
Clark took them gratefully, unceremoniously dropping his drink into the waste bin in the same motion. “Thanks, that was fast.”
Jimmy shrugged. “I stayed later than usual. I was helping to train the new guy. What did you just toss out?”
“The grossest drink known to mankind,” Clark quipped.
“Adam, right?” Lois asked, steering the conversation back to the topic at hand.
Jimmy nodded. “Yeah. He’s good. I mean, I’m still picky enough to want to develop my own photos, but it’ll be good to have another set of helping hands in getting some of the other photographers’ film developed.”
“I’ll bet,” Clark replied. “I thought Perry was going to burst a vein last month when you got the flu and had to take a few days off. Everything sort of ground to almost a halt.”
Jimmy flashed him a grin. “And that, CK, is exactly why Perry granted me that raise when I asked for it. And the assistant.”
Clark laughed. “Good. Besides, you’ve got enough on your plate, between the photos, research, and now the occasional article Perry’s letting you write.”
“And dating my sister. Pretty seriously too, from what she told me on the phone last night,” Lois teased.
The younger man’s cheeks went slightly pink in a blush. “Well, not to toot my own horn or anything…” he said, letting the statement trail off with mock pride. He spread his hands wide, like a king accepting the adoration of his loyal subjects. Then he pointed to Lois’ drink. “Is that a…root beer float?” he questioned.
“What of it?” Lois playfully challenged. She gave Clark a pointed look. “It’s mine and I’m not sharing.”
Jimmy threw his hands up in a gesture of pacification, but he was laughing. “Okay, okay, I’m just asking. I mean, it is only eight in the morning,” he teased.
“Yes. Yes, it is,” Lois agreed, giving him a grin before taking a long, slow sip from her straw. “On a day that’s already ninety-two degrees, with promises of hitting a hundred or higher. While I can barely move around and have my very own, portable oven attached to me,” she said evenly, rubbing her eight and a half months pregnant belly.
But none of her words had been mean. In fact, Clark noted to himself, pregnancy seemed to suit Lois well. Instead of the stereotypical mood swings, Lois had experienced the opposite, and had, with the rare exception, been more even tempered than usual.
“Ah…speaking of,” Jimmy said, clearing his throat and looking slightly nervous. “I may have accidently started something last night.”
“Something?” Clark asked curiously, while Lois arched an eyebrow.
“Well, you guys have kept kind of quiet on the sex of the baby,” he continued, rubbing the back of his neck in a self-conscious manner.
“Because we’re waiting to find out when he or she is born,” Clark gently corrected.
“Yeah…of course,” Jimmy amended. “But, well, Jeff and I were talking, then Stacy got involved, then Tanya overheard…”
“Talking about what?” Lois asked, stopping Jimmy’s rambling before it could really start.
“Well, see, I said that I think you’re having a boy. The women are rooting for a girl. Next thing I knew…I kind of started an office pool.”
“You’re betting on what our child will be?” Lois asked flatly, not in the least bit amused from what Clark could tell.
“Well…kinda…sorta…okay, yeah,” Jimmy sheepishly admitted. “But it’s just for fun. No money is going to exchange hands or anything. So…”
“I want in on the pool,” Lois cut in.
“Lois!” Clark admonished, shocked that Lois would want to be a part of that.
Jimmy breathed a sigh of relief, then produced a folded piece of paper from his back pocket. It was a simple grid where people had, in their own unique handwriting, taken guesses on pretty much everything they could. Height, weight, date of arrival, and…
“Cape or Crown?” Clark remarked quizzically, giving Jimmy a side glance.
Jimmy shrugged. “Themes are all the rage and I thought it was fun. Cape for a boy, considering how popular superheroes are now,” he said, pointing to the sky-blue ink of the “Cape” box, where roughly forty percent of the checkmarks resided. “And Crown for a girl…like a princess,” he explained, and Clark saw that about sixty percent of the office believed a daughter was on the way and so, had put a checkmark in the box under the pale pink word.
Lois laughed and shook her head. Then she grabbed a black pen from her side drawer and signed her name on the sheet. She thought for a moment, then selected a date that was three days past her due date, guessed at seven pounds and three ounces, and eighteen inches long. She waffled for a moment, then selected girl, though she and Clark had often talked about how neither one of them had any kind of strong instinct as to their baby’s sex.
“CK?” Jimmy offered.
Clark hesitated, looking at the pen Lois held out to him. “Why not?” he decided after several long seconds. Just to be different from his wife, his prediction proclaimed an eight pounds and zero ounces, seventeen-and-a-half-inch little boy born a week before his due date.
“There,” he said with finality as he scanned the sheet once more. “Um…what’s with Perry’s guess? He couldn’t decide on boy or girl?”
Jimmy laughed, and his eyebrows shot up into his hairline as an amused grin spread across his face. “Oh, that. He’s convinced it’s twins and you’re going to surprise us with that once the babies are born. Apparently, an old friend of Alice had twins and carried as small as you are.” He gestured vaguely at Lois’ midsection.
Clark bit his tongue as he waited to see if Lois would take umbrage to the comment on her size. But, though her face clouded with a brewing thunderstorm, it quickly dissipated and she shook her head.
“I promise, there’s only one in there. So tell Perry to pick one or the other.”
Jimmy shrugged helplessly. “Already tried.”
“Well, then I guess he’ll be the one looking silly when we only have one,” Lois joked.
Lois felt funny all day. The feeling started not long after she’d finished her root beer float, and she thought that either it had been bad or just hadn’t sat right with her somehow. After all, half the things she ate or drank lately seemed to mess with her stomach. She mentioned it in passing to Clark, but wrote it off as nothing to be worried about.
Around six that night, as Lois sat at her computer, typing the last few lines of the story she and Clark had been working on all day, she suddenly doubled over in pain. Gasping for breath at the unexpected feeling, all she could do was whisper her husband’s name. But Clark heard her, all the way down the street at one of the newer Chinese takeout places where he’d been planning to grab their dinner. He turned around before he could even reach the door to open it, then zipped back down the quiet street, faster than the eye could follow. In seconds, he was at Lois’ side.
“What’s wrong?” he asked.
“Con…con…con…” Lois squeaked out as the contractions left her breathless. A wet splashing noise sounded and Clark looked down to find a puddle of clear water on the floor and dripping off the edge of the computer chair.
“Time to go,” he told her, scooping her up in his arms and whisking her away toward the elevators, keeping his movements at a normal, hurried, human speed.
Four hours later, at five after ten at night, little Lara Kent was born, weighing five and a half pounds, measuring in at seventeen inches long, and three weeks before her due date.
Clark smiled as he held his newborn daughter, absolutely in awe of the tiny child nestled in his arms. Then he looked to Lois, his hero, who’d sweated and yelled and pushed for an hour to bring that little girl into the world.
“Looks like no one won the office pool,” he chuckled.
Lois laughed. “Some people are really going to be disappointed about that,” she said tiredly, but definitely amused.
“You can bet on it,” Clark laughed in a whisper, as Lara wrinkled her little nose in what almost looked like a smile.